Certainly, the situation in france is more than enviable in comparison to many countries: according to a report published in August 2018 by the united Nations on access to safe drinking water and sanitation in schools around the world, only 66% of them have toilets, and more than 620 million children do not, therefore, have no access. In total, 2.3 billion people in the world do not have basic sanitation, of which nearly half is forced to defecate in the open, according to the WHO.
In France, 100% of the schools offer their students these basic facilities. But they remain a subject of complaint as old as the school (in the Nineteenth century, recalled Slate last spring, reports suggested the question). The hygiene of the "places of shame" leaves much to be desired, and the children are reluctant to use them. Which has implications on their health.
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On the occasion of the world Day of the toilet, the company Essity publishes (as it regularly does) a survey of the toilets at primary school. A way that is certainly inexpensive of contact for the group is specialized in hygiene products and health, but which has the merit of depicting a situation not nearly as pink as the paper of the same name.where the king goes alone...
68% of children develop strategies for not going to the toilet
More than one child in two has to voluntarily go to the toilet at school and 58% have "noticed any problems", according to the survey conducted by the Ifop survey of 1002 parents and 502 children aged 6 to 11 years of age. Do not drink during the day, hold at the maximum, avoid to go there during recess and then ask during the class... 68% of children say they have developed strategies to work around the problem! To explain their repulsion, they mention the lack of toilet paper, the lack of soap, lack of cleanliness... And for 27% of them, a discomfort linked to the lack of privacy: where the king goes alone, the schoolboy is too often exposed to the gaze.
At the college and high school, the situation is hardly better. A report on the quality of school life released in October 2017 by the Cnesco (national Council for the evaluation of the school system) reminded that a third of the students fear to go to the toilet in their school, and 39% of colleges and public high schools (25% in the private sector) indicated that they do not have enough health.
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A literature review published in 2012 in the international Journal of environmental research and public health by an american team indicated finding "higher rates of infectious diseases, gastrointestinal, neurocognitive and psychological health among school children exposed to inadequate sanitation." In fact, epidemics of gastro-enteritis take advantage of the lack of hygiene, whereas constipation, urinary tract infections, and abdominal pain are favored by the fact that you can remember. Not to mention the occurrence of any "accidents", the risk for the victims to face the ridicule of other students.
Infections and urinary leakage
support and Maintain the bladder is assumed to "ensure his evacuation frequent and comprehensive, at least 5 to 6 times per day", and "relaxed", reports the French Association of urology in a paper on "disorders mictionnels of the girl child". Because a bladder that does not empty often enough or not completely, the bed of urinary tract infections. Too learn to hold, it is also risking not to know how to release properly during urination, which also helps constipation. Finally, "bladder capacity increases progressively and as soon as the pressure inside the bladder exceeds the level of resistance that may oppose the sphincter striated", will appear the risk of urinary leakage. Hold a bowel movement can, in the same way, to promote, abdominal pain, constipation or, sometimes, a fecal incontinence.
"This is a topic that often makes you smile, then it is of the utmost importance."
Yet embarrassment scrum of fatalism, half of the children who have noticed problems in the toilet of their school do not speak to adults, and 83% of their parents do not address the issue with them, reports the survey of Essity. The teachers, on their side, remind happy that the toilet is a place both difficult to monitor, and prone to mischief: when they have unrestricted access to, the more young people are playing with paper, soap, and water... Of the doors that can lock, it is necessary for the intimacy, but it is also the temptation to hide, the fear of being locked up, the risk of being robbed.
"This is a topic that often makes you smile, then it is of the utmost importance (...) and it's part of the subjects that we must at all cost make progress in the years to come," said the minister of national Education Jean-Michel Blanquer last march, during the presentation of a report by the economic and social Council on the health of French students. Ladies and Gentlemen of the decision-makers... don't hold back.